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That's amore!

Between the homemade turkey Bolognese last night and crock pot lasagna taste test at work, it’s been an Italian-packed 24 hours.

I saw a recipe (and photo – gorgeous!) on Faith’s blog, An Edible Mosaic. It was one of those many dishes that screams “make me!”. Some of you may know that my husband lived in Italy for 2 years (our entire engagement), and I was the lucky lady occupying the Italian villa for a summer. Ahhh…those were the days.

It is therefore no surprise that I acquired a love for good Italian food. And this recipe was DELICIOUS! Yes, a bit spendy on time, but the flavors and nutrition are enough to negate any lengths of simmering to perfection.

Turkey Bolognese adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Yield:  8 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices turkey bacon, finely diced
2 medium onion, finely diced
2 large stalks celery, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (with juices)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 c stock (turkey, chicken, beef, or veggie)
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp butter (optional, for finishing the sauce)
8 Tbsp Parmesan cheese – 1 Tbsp per portion for garnish
Prepared pasta (for serving)

In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Add the turkey bacon and sauté until browned (about 5 minutes), then add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until the veggies are starting to soften (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the turkey and cook until browned (about 5 minutes), then add the balsamic vinegar.  Let the vinegar deglaze the pot by using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.  Stir in the salt, pepper, bay, dried Italian herb mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock.  Simmer the sauce (uncovered) on low heat for about 2 hours (stirring occasionally) or until it’s thickened up to your desired consistency.  Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

Serve with your favorite (whole wheat) pasta and garnished with Parmesan cheese and served with a green salad, if preferred.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 220 calories; 6.5 g. fat; 53 mg. cholesterol; 1034 mg sodium; 17.6 g. carbohydrate; 4.9 g. fiber; 22.8 g. protein

Today was again another taste test day at my clinic. I made the crock pot lasagna I raved about last week. It got huge thumbs up from the crowd. I love the emails that flood in over the afternoon hours…

“It was delicious!”

“Thank you, Nicole! Another delicious recipe to try on the family!”

“Wow! This is definitely a recipe I need to take home and put into practice!”

What can I say? It’s a keeper!

Question: What do you typically order when you go out for Italian cuisine? Did you know that in 3 months time I NEVER saw chicken on a menu in Italy?

Chicken parmigiana = not Italian!

I don’t negotiate on beverage of choice (Chianti), but I try to spread the food love…carbonara, marinara, and always the seafood selections! Mmmm!

Have a great night, thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. Any Q&A questions can be sent to [email protected] — I’m planning another Q&A post early next week!

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  1. January 27, 2010 / 7:54 pm

    I agree, when I saw this recipe on Faith’s blog I wanted some so badly. Glad to hear it is as delicious as it looks! I like the addition of bacon, cinnamon and nutmeg.
    Italian Restaurant: Grilled Salmon & mixed veggies and a heaping side of Marinara. Parmesan too!

  2. January 27, 2010 / 9:15 pm

    Your bolognese turned out great! I adore Faith and her blog. And Chicken Parm is probably an Italian-American thing. I was brought up on it.

  3. January 27, 2010 / 10:32 pm

    That looks really good. I like to order mussels if the restaurant offers them.

  4. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    January 27, 2010 / 10:40 pm

    i love marinara. depends what kind of italian food i’m going for, but an authentic pizza or foccacia anything is ok by me! and caprese salad, yum

  5. January 27, 2010 / 11:19 pm

    I would have never thought to add both turkey bacon and ground turkey. Sounds like a nice engagement you had ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. January 28, 2010 / 12:38 am

    Ohh, thanks for the idea of making the crockpot lasagna at work. My coworkers are always willing to be guinea pigs but I can never bring them warm foods. I just inherited a crockpot that hasn’t made it home yet (bike plus crockpot minus baskets doesn’t work well) so it’s sitting at work – clearly just begging to be used for lasagna!

  7. January 28, 2010 / 12:39 am

    That looks delicious and a filling one..

  8. January 28, 2010 / 4:56 am

    Chicken must be an American thing because they really don’t do it here either. They use chickens for eggs. I usually get capellini pomodoro or some sort of pasta primavera, then I also really like eggplant parm. Glad you crock pot lasagna was a success.

  9. eaternotarunner
    January 28, 2010 / 6:43 am

    I’m pretty much a pasta addict, but being Italian I can be pretty picky about my Italian food!

  10. January 28, 2010 / 7:03 am

    mm, looks delicious! Obviously I love Italian food, as I’m Italian, BUT with my wheat intolerance it’s very difficult to find something I can eat. I like antipasta, but I also love gnocchi. Really even just a large Italian salad, or a big bowl of wedding soup will make ME smile!

  11. January 28, 2010 / 7:33 am

    Mmmmm…there are too many good things to choose from. I love a good risotto though ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. January 28, 2010 / 7:44 am

    You lived in Italy for a summer?! That sounds amazing! I love italian food; especially anything with marinara.

  13. January 28, 2010 / 8:10 am

    So many American foreign foods aren’t really authentic at all! I don’t have a go-to Italian meal…whatever pops out on the menu. If it’s a nice place, I’ll usually go for seafood.

  14. January 28, 2010 / 8:29 am

    Oh I love Italian food but I haven’t been in this fab country in ages.. even though it’s almost next door ;). I think that pasta in Italy is amazing.. You know, you can make Italian food and you can make Italian food. The same thing can taste so different, it just depends on where you eat it. But the dish I’m most curious about is risotto because my dad makes a great one and it’s really difficult to make risotto “right”. Oh and I also love Gnocchi. Hehe, it’s hard to find an Italian dish that I hate.

  15. January 28, 2010 / 8:58 am

    Wow I wished I worked with you so that I could get free food lol…I heart Italian food so much! My fave thing would have to be Calamari and Shrimp in Marinara sauce…yuuuums

  16. January 28, 2010 / 9:04 am

    Great recipe! My favorite Italian food is gnocchi! I always order them at Italian restaurants as my way to “judge” the restaurant…

  17. January 28, 2010 / 9:08 am

    I would love to have something like that at my job. We used to do that with soup. I need to work with you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. January 28, 2010 / 9:43 am

    I love Italian days, yummy for pasta, sauce, and cheese…in any form!

  19. January 28, 2010 / 10:19 am

    Being from an Italian family, I know a little history behind the chicken parm dish. It was originally created in the Americas that represented Italian cuisine. Chicken was used in place of eggplant by chefs to adapt old dishes to please their non-Italian clientele. Yay for history!
    My favorite is a simple pasta in cream sauce yum!

  20. January 28, 2010 / 11:22 am

    I would love to hear more about your time in Italy. How much fun! Especially to be there during your engagement..that is awesome.
    That dinner looks great! I can’t get enough of Italian food, as you’ve probably seen from my blog.
    It’s funny cause I didn’t see chicken parm on the menu it Italy either. One of my favorite dishes is eggplant parm, risotto, or pesto. Besides the eggplant, my mom doesn’t make the other two so I usually order when I go out to eat Italian.

  21. January 28, 2010 / 12:10 pm

    I love Italy! I have already been there 3 times and the husband and I are thinking of going back this summer with our friends (it is only a one-hour flight away from Paris). It is my favorite place on earth. I cant stop myself with their pasta. During my trips there, I would have it at least once a day, but more often twice. Good thing I don’t live there.

    Your crockpot lasagna sounds awesome, by the way. Will definitely try it sometime!

  22. Holly
    January 28, 2010 / 12:25 pm

    Nicole, where do you find no cook whole wheat lasagna noodles? I haven’t had any luck…

    • Nicole
      January 28, 2010 / 5:31 pm

      They’re not specific noodles, I don’t think. I just bought whole wheat lasagna noodles and didn’t pre-cook them ๐Ÿ™‚ Worked for me beautifully….twice ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. January 28, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    YUM! I have to make Italian main dishes next week for our small group and this was just the inspiration I needed!!

  24. January 28, 2010 / 3:39 pm

    Italian food is so widespread! And delicious!
    Last Italian place I went was in Napa I got ravioli and a beet salad, but I LOVE gnocchi (tried to make it once and failed). Pizza of course is always a winner!

  25. January 28, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    wow – cant believe you didnt see chicken on a menu in italy!

    I usually order minestrone soup + salad. I reallly try to avoid pasta.

  26. January 28, 2010 / 5:55 pm

    So interesting that chicken isn’t a popular thing to order Italy. My favorite thing to order at an italian restaurant is probably eggplant parmesan or whole wheat pasta with marinara on top! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. January 28, 2010 / 6:01 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this…I’m so glad you liked it! (Honestly, it really makes my day when someone tells me that! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Thanks for calculating the nutritional data…lol, not too shabby, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. January 29, 2010 / 6:03 am

    I loooove Italian fare which makes sense since I am 100% Italian!! My family is big on everything Italian cuisine ranging from wines to pastas! This looks fabulous! My fav Italian dish would have to be chicken parmesan..interesting to know chicken doesn’t show up much over there. I am so envious you’ve gotten to go to Italy, it’s my dream! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. January 29, 2010 / 9:21 am

    That sounds delicious. I’m surprised you can eat any Italian food here after living in Italy for two years. The food there is so much better!

  30. January 29, 2010 / 1:40 pm

    I am SO jealous you lived in Italy! Pictures, please? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never been, but everyone in my (immediate) family has. If I could go anywhere, it would be Italy.

    I am boring and usually get some type of pasta with grilled chicken. And bread with olive oil! I can’t believe Italians don’t eat chicken?

  31. January 13, 2012 / 8:46 pm

    Italian has me craving GRILLED WHOLE ARTICHOKE HEARTS and OLIVE in any sort of tomato sauce… with fish of course, I adore fish and Italian fish recipes are scrumptious!

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